One of the tougher aspects family members face is determining when a parent should stop driving. Your parents may be fine. But, it could also be time for them to hand in their keys. They may not enjoy being told they’re not safe drivers.
Nevertheless, it’s important that you take time to gauge their skills. It’s better to have them be unhappy for a while than to get the call they caused a crash. To judge their skills, get in the car and look at their skills in these areas.
Can They Reach and Use All Pedals and Controls?
Reaching and using the pedals and dash controls is important when driving. If your dad has a hard time pulling up the emergency brake, he shouldn’t be driving. If your mom has a hard time moving her foot from the brake to the accelerator, it’s time to stop her.
How Far Do They Turn to Check Their Blind Spots?
When your mom and dad are checking their blind spots, how far do they turn their head? If they’re not able to fully see over their shoulder, it’s not enough. Even with technology that alerts to blind spots, they still need to be able to double-check.
Work with your mom and dad to see how far they can turn their head. Can they touch their chin to the center of their shoulder? If so, they should be able to turn enough. If they can’t get that far, it could be time to hand over the keys.
Are Reaction Times Appropriate?
How are their reaction times? If a car suddenly brakes in front of them, do they immediately hit their brakes? If they pause for a couple of seconds, reaction times may not be what they were.
Your parents need to be watching for and ready to react to a car that cuts them off, a pet or child that runs into the road, or traffic that suddenly stops. The reaction to those surprises should be immediate.
What Do Their Doctors Say?
Have you talked to their doctors? The eye doctor’s opinion matters a lot. If vision has deteriorated to the point that driving is risky, the eye doctor will tell you. Other doctors will have information about prescription medications that have side effects that require your parents to stop driving.
Home care makes it possible for your parents to get from Point A to Point B without risking their safety. A caregiver takes over driving for them. If they need a ride to an appointment, the caregiver is happy to drive them to and from the office. Shopping trips and drop-offs at friends’ houses or senior care centers are no problem with transportation services from a local home care agency. Let us help you find the perfect fit!
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Care Management Services in Indianapolis, IN, please contact the caring staff at Advocate Care Management at (317) 471-0770
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